Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The 10-A s of Personal Safety for Women & Kids- Part I

Now, we outline the safety precautions against kidnapping, which can be adopted by a potential victim, especially a kid.
Many will sound so basic and obvious. But you will be surprised to know that they are routinely overlooked, by sheer apathy or pre-occupation. Or worse by being cynical.
Avoid creating a situation which increases your risk exposure.
Prevent easy access.
  • Create as many obstacles between a threat and you; wherever you are.
  • At home it may mean locked windows and doors - which are 2 layered, so that you can see clearly who is outside and what he is carrying, without being accessible to him.
  • If habitually alone, get a good intruder alarm system installed.
  • Have a dog.
  • Even the simple act of locking the car door when travelling is critical. Many crimes started with the criminal just opening the car door and getting in, even before the victim can react.
Don’t behave like a soft target

  • As we see in TV nature programs, the predator always tries to pick the easiest prey. So, appearing as a soft target emboldens the criminal to zoom into you.
  • Remember the criminal is keen to get his job done with minimum fuss. If he feels you are going to resist and prolong the struggle, he will lose interest.
Be Aware of your surroundings
  • If something is out of the routine, your antenna should go up.
    Like if you see a parked car with people inside on a lonely stretch, you better take a detour.
  • I often see youngsters engrossed in their mobile phones while walking. Or listening to their iPods oblivious to the world at large. They can be easily surprised, if targeted.  
  • Always walk facing the oncoming traffic. the chance s of you being surprised from behind are less.
If you feel something is wrong, be prepared to Fight or Flee.
  • Don’t ignore your natural instincts.  If you feel something is wrong in a situation or a person, leave the place without delay.
  • By social conditioning, many victims think it will be appear rude if they leave abruptly or refuse to get involved in a conversation with a stranger.
  • Another major assumption is a criminal will look like a criminal. Actually many serial murderers, rapists or paedophiles look very decent and friendly.

Since I know a reader hates a long reading, i will take up the rest of the As in the next blog.
  • Meanwhile, please give your suggestions and add your inputs by leaving comments below.
  • Also use the share links on the right if you feel the information can be useful to somebody else too.
Coming up next week -
Co-ordinator / Instructor
Chennai Chapter, Krav Maga (IKMF) India
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Email-  kravmaga.chennai@gmail.com
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Safety procedures to prevent kidnapping - For Schools & Parents

Kidnap - nap (to seize) kid ( a child)
The child kidnapping crime has been around for time immemorial, for varied motives – Anger & frustration, Money, Political or Sex.
After the recent spate of kidnappings in TamilNadu, the police have announced certain guidelines - for Parents, School authorities and the Kids themselves. Very sane advice, no doubt.
To understand the issue at hand, we analyze it a bit more.
Kidnapping has some unique characteristics -
  • Mostly the victim is the softest target of all - Children
  • Kidnapping is generally NOT a crime committed in sudden burst of anger or impulse, because it needs elaborate planning of logistics.
  • That pre-supposes that the criminal should be reasonably familiar with the victim's universe.
  • In the case of kidnap for sexual assault, it’s different. The victim may be chosen on parameters like vulnerability and circumstances.
  • In kidnap crimes, the police are at a disadvantage, since the victim's family is generally reluctant to co-operate.
Taking up the preventive aspects first;
We can see it from 3 perspectives - The School, the Home & the Potential Victim 

Kidnap preventive measures by The School-
  • Dropping & Pickup of students to be monitored in person and if possible, as the Addl.CoP, Chennai suggested with CCTV cameras.
  • Identification tags can be provided to Drivers or whoever comes to pickup, which will be verified by school security
  • To devise a System to detect unannounced absence of a student to be red-flagged asap.
  • Conduct safety awareness programs to educate students & parents on preventive methods.
  • The school should have an escalation procedure in place, to prevent chaos and confusion during a crisis. This saves precious time.
  • Impart self-defence classes to the students, like KRAV-MAGA which does NOT depend on Strength or Fitness - useful for a small defendant against a bigger aggressor
Kidnap preventive measures by The Parent -
  • The rich should have secure procedures for recruitment and monitoring of staff - Drivers, domestic help etc.
  • This will include identification and address proofs, referrals and retaining photographs of staff.
  • In extreme cases, even a background check by a private detective agency can be done.
  • Security should be upped if there are reasonable grounds for caution, like a disgruntled sacked staff.
  • The child should be taught at the earliest to use the phone and tell the parents' names & address.
  • Any change in the behaviour or attitude of the child should be probed. This can be due to fear or risky habits.
  • Interaction with the school and be part of its safety programs.
  • The Child should be taught the safety protocols of dealing with strangers or recognizing deviant behaviour of known persons.
  • Keep an eye on the online activity of the child
  • Impart self-defence training for the child - preferably a system which is natural and intuitive like KRAV-MAGA
Meanwhile readers are asked to contribute more points. You can leave it as Comments below or write me an email. And please do SHARE this article for common good.

Co-ordinator / Instructor
Chennai Chapter, Krav Maga (IKMF) India
Mobile: 93400 06600

"So that one may walk in peace" ... Imi Lichtenfeld, Founder of KravMaga
TWEET - @kravMagaSreeRam

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